CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - In light of recent events, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine took a hard look at the state of our democracy during a visit Monday to the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The Democratic senator and the center’s president, Larry Sabato, talked before a crowd about immigration, political polarization, and the gradual decline of voter participation.

“There's some troubling trends. We have a president who seems to take joy in attacking the institutions of government. He likes to attack the courts, he attacks the press,” Kaine said.

As the midterm elections loom closer, the center is talking about the state of democracy in the United States and around the world.

“After the Soviet bloc fell there was this thought that, ‘hey capitalism and democracy won. We're at the so-called end of history, and all of that.’ And, actually, that really has not been the case,” said UVA Center for Politics Communications Director Kyle Kondik.

Monday, October 8, the center hosted a discussion with Kaine, highlighting issues many say are contributing to the decline of democracy.

“This isn't just a critique about what's going on in the world. I think you know we would want, we should want to be the exemplary democracy, but we have a ways to go,” the senator said.

Sabato and Kaine also discussed the effects of recent events like the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court and how it may energize voters from both political parties to come out and vote in November.

“I think there are a lot of people motivated to vote, even people who may be kind of swing voters, or maybe otherwise sort of supportive of Republicans who maybe don't like where Republican Party is right now,” said Kondik.

Members of the audience also had an opportunity to ask the senator questions. Many of them asked for thoughts on the Kavanaugh confirmation, as well as how they can work to improve the state of democracy in this country.